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[p. 67] the best known high schools in the state, Mr. Cummings, feeling much handicapped by impaired hearing, decided that he ought, for the best welfare of the school, to resign his position; and that he did in 1876. That he was very highly esteemed by the Medford School Committee is clearly shown in their report for that year, from which the following is copied.—

High School.

The resignation of Mr. Charles Cummings, after thirty years of distinguished service as principal of this school, marks an era in its history. No man has contributed so much as he to bring the school up from its small beginnings to its present position of usefulness and honor. Our predecessors have paid constant tribute to his fidelity and efficiency, and the present Board has taken pains to enter upon the record of its transactions its high estimate of his character and services.

If, in describing the influence which this excellent teacher has exercised over the youth of this town, we should quote the words of old John Lyly, written three hundred years ago, setting forth the considerations which should govern a parent in the selection of a tutor for his children, all would acknowledge their truth, and their beautiful application to the pure minded man, to whom the town has intrusted, for so many years, the sacred charge of its children. We may be excused for giving them here, as we are confident that their quaintness will in no degree impair their meaning or force.—

It is an old proverbe that if one dwell the next doore to a cripple, he will learn to hault; if one be conversant with an hypocrit, he will soone endeavour to dissemble. When a childe shall grow in years and be of that ripenesse that he can conceive learning, insomuch that he is to be committed to the tuityon of some tutour, all dillygence is to be had to search for such a one as shall be neither unlearned, neither ill-lyved, neither a lyght person.

A good and discreete schoolemaster should be such an one as Phoenix was, the instructor of Achilles, whom Pelleus (as Homer reporteth) appoynted to that ende that he should be unto Achilles not only a teacher of learning, but an ensample of good lyving. But that is most principally to be looked for, and most dilligently to be foreseene, that such tutors be sought out for the education of a young childe, whose lyfe hath never bene stayned with dishonestie, whose good name hath never bene called into question, whose manners have bene irreprehensible before the world. As husbandmen hedge in their trees, so should good schoolemasters with good manners hedge wit and disposition of the scholar, whereby the blossoms of knowledge may the sooner encrease.


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